In a move that is sure to fuel speculation that the ANC is trying to convince President Jacob Zuma to resign before Thursday's state of the nation address, the ANC has called a special meeting of its national executive committee (NEC), according to News24.
The NEC, the ANC's highest decision-making body between conferences, is due to meet on Wednesday.
BREAKING: ANC NWC resolves to call a special NEC meeting on Wednesday. Clearest indication yet that ruling party will recall President Zuma before State of the Nation Address on Thursday. @TeamNews24 @News24— Adriaan Basson (@AdriaanBasson) February 5, 2018
On Sunday evening, the ANC's top six leaders met with Zuma in an effort to get him to resign. Sources told HuffPost that the meeting was "tense and difficult", and that Zuma asked what he had done wrong that would require him to resign.
He demanded formal reasons for why he should resign, warned against a "counterrevolution" and dismissed state capture allegations, sources said.
The ANC's national working committee (NWC) met on Monday, reportedly to discuss the same issue. It concluded that the NEC should meet.
The NWC does not have the power to recall the president, a party deployee — only the NEC does.
Pro-and-anti Zuma factions clashed outside Luthuli House on Monday, as Black First Land First members, supporters of Zuma, squared off with ANC members who want Zuma to be removed. Two fights broke out, and ANC secretary-general, Ace Magashule, who is a Zuma ally, was booed.
According to News24, in a statement on Monday night, the ANC said: "Following extensive deliberation the national working committee resolved to convene a meeting of the NEC, which is the highest decision-making body of the ANC between conferences, on Wednesday.
"Amongst the issues to be tabled to the special NEC meeting will be preparations for the State of the Nation Address (SONA) and a report back from the National Working Committee on matters mandated to it, including management of the transition between the 5th and 6th administration of government and pending actions in Parliament."
Here's the ANC statement explaining outcome of NWC and urgent NEC meeting called for Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/79zN61A5cq— Ranjeni Munusamy (@RanjeniM) February 5, 2018
The meeting is reportedly the ANC's last chance to recall Zuma before Thursday's address.
ANC NEC members must go to a special NEC meeting on Wednesday to discuss Sona and the managing of transition. Meaning: a final decision on a recall would be made at that meeting.— Qaanitah Hunter (@QaanitahHunter) February 5, 2018
1/2 ANC: Key indicator today will be whether an extraordinary sitting of the NEC is called. That would be the surest sign of a JZ recall. If the NWC concludes today's meeting without calling an NEC meeting, then we can expect JZ to dig in his heels even further. @brunovaneck— Brandon Sacks (@BrandonSacks7) February 5, 2018
During a meeting between Zuma and the ANC Top 6, those privy to details of the meeting from the presidency and Luthuli House have told us, that Zuma said he is not willing to go "NOW"— POWER987News (@POWER987News) February 5, 2018
"If the ANC wants him to go" he should be told by the "ANC's NEC"